Nigerian sensation, Abayomi Philips put up a solid display to claim a fine 6-3, 6-3 victory over Koffi Goudjinou of Togo and advance to the final of the GTFLifetime Athletic Open- an ITF Grade 5 hard-court tournament in Accra, Ghana.
The 17-year-old Nigerian, who’s seeded No.5, has progressed through the draw in Accra in superb fashion. He has been so impressive all week and only had to drop a set, which was in his quarter-final match against Ivorian, Ouattara Nafiralo, who was the No.1 seed.
In last year’s edition, the youngster was stopped in the second round by Frederic Coulibaly of Ivory Coast. Now 12 months later, he’s pulled together strings of brilliant displays to come within one match win of his biggest career title yet.
He will take on Vence N’tcha of Benin Republic in the final on Saturday. N’tcha, the 3rd seed, defeated home favourite, Samuel Antwi in an up-and-down semifinal match, 6-0, 0-6, 7-6(5). Both players had exchanged bagels in the first and second sets, before N’tcha found the greater consistency to claim victory in a third set tiebreaker.
N’tcha has also been impressive all week and like Philips, has dropped only one set. The Beninese has played in three ITF Junior events this year, with a quarter-final run in Accra in April meshed in between a first round loss in Marrakesh in March and a second round finish in Accra in April. For Abayomi, meanwhile, it’s his first ITF Junior event this year, and what a run he’s had.
Both boys will be meeting each other for the first time in their fledgling careers and it promises to be a gripping encounter.
Meanwhile, in the girls doubles event, the duo of Marylove Edwards and Shania Gadhia went out in the semis in three sets to Linda Nga and Manuelle Nga- the Cameroonians claiming a 7-5, 1-6, 10-6 victory to make the final.